Fighting tooth decay in preschool
While oral health continues to improve for most Americans, as many as 28 percent of children aged 2 to 5 have tooth decay, a study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports. That’s an increase of 4 percent from the previous study 10 years earlier.
In fact, decay is more common among young children than any other chronic illness, including asthma and diabetes. Without preventive dental care, the effects of tooth decay on a child’s development can be striking, according to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry:
- Untreated cavities in children can be associated with growth, learning and speech problems, and can result in costly emergency room visits.
- Excessive soda consumptions and babies drinking too much juice in bottles are two examples of behaviors that can lead to decay.
- Bottled water isn’t fluoridated and can be an early cause of decay.
- Tooth decay is a disease that can last a lifetime.
- Improper oral hygiene can increase the risk of developing heart disease, suffering a stroke, or having low birth-weight babies as an adult.